Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston.  He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester.  Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011.  Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.

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New England News
8:34 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Baker Names Transportation Consultant To Run MassDOT

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has appointed a new transportation secretary.

      Stephanie Pollack, a public policy researcher from Northeastern University will become the state’s new transportation chief in February.  Pollack is a well-respected expert on transportation policy and transit financing, according to Kristina Egan director of the advocacy group Transportation For Massachusetts.

" She is excellent. She is one of the top experts in the field of transportation. She knows the budget inside out and she will know how to reform MassDOT."

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New England News
6:16 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Northampton Moving Ahead With Landfill Solar Project

Solar panels on a capped landfill in Holyoke, MA
Credit WAMC

The city of Northampton, Massachusetts is planning a number of solar power projects that would further reduce the city’s carbon footprint, while providing a new source of revenue.

As soon as this summer, Northampton is likely to join dozens of other municipalities in the state that have turned old landfills into solar farms. And, in what appears to be a first in western Massachusetts at least, solar arrays may pop up at some municipal parking lots, according to Chris Mason, the city’s energy officer.

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New England News
4:31 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

UMass Amherst Replacing Book Store With Amazon

Credit wikipedia.org

UMass Amherst will replace its on-campus textbook store later this year with a virtual store operated by Amazon.

  Under a five-year contract Amazon will provide online textbook ordering through the UMass Amherst website, operate an on-campus pick up location and provide free delivery to off campus addresses in Amherst and five surrounding communities.  UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said the change is being made to save students money.

  "Up to about $380 annually per student based on national estimates of what students pay for books," said Blaguszewski.

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New England News
12:09 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Five-Year Ban On Casino Jobs Proposed For Springfield Elected Officials

MGM plans to start construction this year on an $800 million casino and hotel in downtown Springfield.
Credit MGM Springfield

The Springfield, Massachusetts city council is considering an ordinance that would put restrictions on public officials obtaining jobs at the new MGM casino being built in the city.

Under a proposed municipal ethics ordinance, the city’s elected officials—the mayor and 11 city councilors – would be barred for at least five years from obtaining a job at the MGM casino after leaving the city’s employment.  Non-elected officials who are considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.

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New England News
6:11 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Massachusetts Doctor Who Survived Ebola Returning To Africa

Dr. Rick Sacra and his wife Debbie discuss his plans to return to Liberia where he was infected with Ebola last August. Sacra was cured and is now immune to the disease

The Massachusetts doctor who was cured of the deadly Ebola virus is going to return later this week to West Africa to work in the missionary hospital where he was infected.             

 Four months after he was declared Ebola-free, and with his strength and stamina now back, Dr. Rick Sacra will leave Thursday for Liberia, where he had spent much of the last two decades working for a missionary organization.

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New England News
12:32 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Smith College Economist Says Hosting Olympics Is Economic Gamble

The U.S. Olympic Committee last week picked Boston to make the American bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.  Backers say the games will enhance Boston’s image as a world-class city. Opponents fear a costly boondoggle.  Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist has researched the costs in his new book “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup.”  He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

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New England News
9:33 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Smith College Economist Questions Boston Olympics Cost Estimates

Backers of Boston’s bid to host the Olympics see it as a chance to enhance the city’s image. Critics fear a financial boondoggle.

Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist, who has researched the costs of hosting the Olympics and the World Cup, believes the organizer’s estimates of a $4.5-$5 billion price tag for the Boston Olympics is unrealistic.

" The notion that you can avoid cost overruns is pie in the sky," said Zimbalist.

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New England News
4:07 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Baker Says Boston Olympics An Opportunity For City, Region

Gov. Charlie Baker presides at the first cabinet meeting of his new administration

Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics took center stage on Governor Charlie Baker’s first full day in office.

Baker began his first full day in office Friday by participating in the news conference with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and members of the Boston 2024 organization.  He described the selection of Boston as the U.S. bidder for the 2024 games as an opportunity for the city and the region as a whole.

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New England News
12:15 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Boston Selected As U.S. Bidder To Host 2024 Olympics

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker and backers of Boston's Olympic bid discuss the next steps now that the USOC has picked Boston to lead the U.S. effort to land the 2024 games.

The city of Boston, known for being passionate about its sports teams, is going to compete on an international stage to become the host city for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Supporters see the games as a chance to enhance Boston’s image as a world-class city. Critics fear a financial boondoggle.           

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New England News
6:09 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

The Baker Era Begins In Massachusetts

Declaring it was time to write the next chapter in the history of the Commonwealth, Charlie Baker today became the 72nd governor of Massachusetts. The state also has a new lieutenant governor, an office that had been vacant for the last 19 months.

Baker put his hand on the family bible held by his wife Lauren, with their three children at his side, as State Senate President Stan Rosenberg administered the oath of office. It capped a political comeback for Baker and the return of a Republican to the state’s top elected office.

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